Easy and Practical SMS Implementation [+Free SMS Guide]

Everyone knows that having a Safety Management System (SMS) can help you become a better and safer operator. Let’s look beyond SMS theory and translate it into plain language that you can act on. Download our free SMS guide for real world advice on implementing SMS.



What are the four components of SMS?

Component 1: Safety Policy and Objectives

FAA Definition: Establishes senior management’s commitment to continually improve safety; defines the methods, processes, and organizational structure needed to meet safety goals.

In Summary: Write down a description of your SMS.

Component 2: Safety Risk Management

FAA Definition: Determines the need for, and adequacy of, new or revised risk controls based on the assessment of acceptable risk.

In Summary: Keep an eye out for risks and, when you find them, decide what you will do to fix, reduce, or avoid them.

Component 3: Safety Assurance

FAA Definition: Evaluates the continued effectiveness of implemented risk control strategies; supports the identification of new hazards.

In Summary: After you have identified a risk and did something to fix, reduce, or avoid it, double check to make sure that what you did actually led to an improvement.

Component 4: Safety Promotion

FAA Definition: Includes training, communication, and other actions to create a positive safety culture within all levels of the workforce.

In Summary: SMS only works if it’s a part of the company culture, so you need to get the safety message out regularly and need to get everyone involved.

How to implement SMS?

Now that you know what you need, how do you accomplish everything?

Component 1: Safety Policy and Objectives
1. Take stock of what you are already doing and write it down
2. Create a Safety Policy
3. Come up with your safety objective
4. Define roles and responsibilities

Component 2: Safety Risk Management
1. Determine your SMS process
2. Decide how you will identify risks
3. Outline what you will do about these risks
4. Define what you will do when things go wrong

Component 3: Safety Assurance
1. Review safety data to ensure what you are doing is improving safety

Component 4: Safety Promotion
1. Ensure safety is an integral part of your organizational culture by communicating often

For expanded detailed guidance on implementing SMS download our free guide